Using monolithic design themes to achieve a Norwegian-style kitchen

Simple, functional, minimal. These are the three central tenets upon which Scandinavian design is built. Fully recognized by mid-twentieth century, Scandinavian design has certainly made its mark on home design – and kitchen style. While the clean lines (and flat-packing) of Swedish superpower IKEA are the most easily recognized hallmark of this movement, it’s the Norwegians who bring a distinctly more “koselig” (Norwegian for “cosy”) flavour to the mix.

Ample of daylight paired white white and subdued palettes create eternal summer in Norwegian kitchens. (c)bulthaup

Ample of daylight paired white white and subdued palettes create eternal summer in Norwegian kitchens. (c)bulthaup

Keep It Light

Norway can experience up to 60 polar nights per year. So, a light and soft colour palate is an essential feature in  Norwegian kitchen style. Muted tones of pale blue, white and cream are ubiquitous in Norwegian interiors and carry through to the kitchen. Not into pastels, or shades of white? No worries. Stay ahead of kitchen trends and go grey – a versatile neutral that designers are predicting will be “the new white” very soon. Regardless of your chosen colour palate, the overall feeling one has in a Norwegian kitchen is of calm spaciousness – precisely what you want in the heart of a home!

Don’t feel like painting? Add white candles! They’re a key feature in every Norwegian home.

Keep It Real

Perhaps the clearest characterization of Norwegian kitchen style is the use of natural wood. Norwegians love to be outside, but in the very cold and dark winter months prolonged periods spent in nature are not always feasible. However, bringing a little bit the outdoors inside is a great way to add Norwegian spirit to a kitchen. Adding such an earthy touch is easy: add naturally finished shaker cabinets, a butcher’s block topped kitchen island, a reclaimed wood dining table, or wooden accessories – like pepper grinders and serving trays.

Keep It Clean

Clean lines, and just plain clean – Scandinavian design is all about streamlined and orderly functionality. That transfers to Norwegian kitchen style as well. The Norwegian kitchen is first and foremost open and airy. It features a practical flow that enables good living. So, to keep your kitchen “Norwegian” invest in some essential and high-quality kitchen pieces. To ensure these are as clean as the space itself, select items with geometric lines and premium, but low-key textiles, unfettered by decorative elements. Regardless of what you invest in, attention detail and high-quality materials are the hallmark of Norwegian design. Your kitchen will last a lifetime.

The golden rule: if it doesn’t serve a purpose, you probably don’t need it in your kitchen. If nothing else, this clean living may encourage many of us to do away with the clutter that has crept into many of our kitchens.